Friday, July 29, 2011

so happy together

it seemed like it took you forever to ask
it seems like forever ago
i'm so thrilled to share forever with you
happy anniversary brett

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Sometimes it seems like all they do is
boss each other
resist each other
annoy each other
try to manipulate each other
hoard from each other
argue with each other
tattle on each other
speak unkindly to each other.
But then I see this...
and I remember
those are things that sisters do,
but they truly love each other
in spite of it all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thithter thuzy thitting on a thithle

I thimply couldn't rethitht. 
P.S.This girl is going to make the Tooth Fairy broke.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rhu what?

This recipe just goes to show that anything can be made into something delicious if you add enough butter and/or sugar.  Ever heard of rhubarb?  The checkout lady at Henry's had to ask me what it was, she thought it was rutabaga (whatever that is!).  I would bet most people have probably not ever even seen rhubarb.   They wouldn't know that it looks just like celery only its red, has the identical texture, and it tastes sour as all-get-out.  Seriously, who thought of making it into a dessert?  Must be the same lady who first made candied watermelon rind.  Anyway, I totally remember my grandma growing tons of it in her garden and making cobblers and pies in the summertime.  So in our attempts to try new things and get creative in the kitchen...enter Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (not to be confused with Rhubarb dessert, or Rhubarb pie, or Rhubarb cobbler).   And honestly, it was completely delish.  Light crust on the bottom, ooey gooey sweetness in the middle and crumbled perfection on top.  And don't forget the vanilla ice cream.  Ever. On any pie, crisp, cobbler, or crumble.


2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. softened butter
Mix together for crust and topping.
1 1/2 c. chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries
1 2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 1/2 c. water
2 tsp. vanilla
Combine crust ingredients, press 1/2 of mixture into greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberries. Stir together sugar and cornstarch, stir into water. Cook until thickened. Pour over fruit, sprinkle other 1/2 of crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream or yogurt.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The oldest picture I had on my computer 
April 2004
2 weeks in Hawaii, no kids, ahhhhhhh, the good old days right?

This week will mark 11 yeas of wedded bliss for Brett and me.  Eleven years ago we promised to love each other forever, no matter what.  We are so thankful that the God we promised our faithfulness to, has been faithful to us, in filling us with love for each other every single day.   And I have to say, thanks to Him, we have an amazing marriage.

I've been reading God's Priorities for Today's Woman, a study on Titus 2:3-5, and let me say it has been kicking my butt.  In so may areas of my life.  But, I wanted to share some of the things I've been challenged with in the area of loving my husband.  Because even after 1 1years, I've still got some major growing to do in that area.   Here goes...

"Loving your husband biblically is not always convenient or easy for you; in fact it always requires sacrifice." Ouch!  Am I willing to sacrifice? I know my kids require me to sacrifice, but my husband too?

"By faithfully making your husband a priority, you bring God glory."
It is my purpose in life to bring God glory, and if that is accomplished by loving my husband, that is what I must do. 

Eight practical ways to make your husband a priority:
1.  Think about him- Your heart follows what your mind dwells on.
2.  Do his stuff first- He will be blessed when he sees you putting his stuff at the top of your to-do list.
3.  Maintain an identity as a couple-Spend time together, just the two of you.  Husbands thrive on their wives' undistracted attention.
4.  Look forward to his homecoming- Prepare yourself, your kids and your home for your husbands arrival.
5.  Be at home when he is home-  Take care of your errands while he is at work so you can spend time together as a family.
6.  Pray for him-  There is nothing like praying for someone to motivate us to put our love into action.
7.  Make your relationship with your husband a priority over the other friendships you have- Make your husband your best earthly friend.
8.  From the first year of your marriage to the sixty-first year, plan on and look forward to times of intimacy with your husband- Nothing communicates priority more to a man than this wife's eagerness and willingness to meet his needs in this way.  You are the only person on earth who can do this for him.  And God has given you this special privilege to joyfully obey.

Let the wife see that she 
reverences her husband- 
that she 
notices him, 
regards him, 
honors him, 
prefers him, 
esteems him, 
that she defers to him
praises him, 
admires him 
Ephesians 5:33 (Amplified Bible) 

Now you know what I mean about kicking my butt right?  
Linkin' up with Katie...check it out!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

the perfect combination

What do you get when you cross this...
(I've dreamed about using one of these for years...)

(A Craig's list find -that I had to call for reinforcement to get into the van- thanks Renee!)

and this...?
(the ultimate in furniture makeover)

You get me working in my element outside all day sanding, sanding, and sanding and painting, painting, and painting while my kids run wild half naked drinking soda from the can and pigging out on my stash of M&Ms.  You also get me covered in fine dust and gray spray paint.  Think ashy to the tenth power.  I must go shower now.  Stay tuned for the big reveal.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Life is not always a bowl of cherries. Especially when your baby chokes on one.  Like really chokes.  Like yank her out of her high chair, sweep her mouth, bang on her back, try to remember the baby Heimlich, this dang thing is not coming out, Jesus help me, kind of choke.  Strangely enough it was a pretty small piece of cherry.  Of course I had cut them up so she wouldn't choke.  But she, in typical Leighton fashion, had shoved 3 or 4 pieces in at the same time.  I am so thankful Brett was home.  So thankful we were sitting close beside her and noticed right away what was happening.  So thankful he was able to get that cherry to come out in time.  So thankful our baby is okay.  
Obviously this led me to do a little refresher on the baby Heimlich.  Here's what I found.  I have to admit, this is not what I was doing.  Apparently the old slapping on the back is not the best way.  Anyway, hope it's helpful to you- actually I hope you never ever have to use it, but just in case...

Follow these steps to help a choking infant:

Lay the child down, face up, on a firm surface and kneel or stand at the victim's feet, or hold infant on your lap facing away from you. Place the middle and index fingers of both your hands below his rib cage and above his navel. Press into the victim's upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust; do not squeeze the rib cage. Be very gentle. Repeat until object is expelled.

If the Victim has not recovered, proceed with CPR. The Victim should see a physician immediately after rescue.

Don't slap the victim's back. (This could make matters worse.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

letting her do it

She picked the colors,
she picked the pattern,
she picked the decals,
but I insisted on her letting me paint them.
Fingernail polish is
easily tipped over
impossible to get out of clothes,
off tile,
off rugs.
Its sticky
incredibly messy,
and a bit beyond the ability of a 6 year old, I'm afraid.
But she was persistent.
I can do it Mommy.
I promise I'll be careful.
I won't tip it over.
I know what I'm doing.
I let go.
I let her do it.
She tipped over the polish once,
but I caught it in time.
She went outside the lines,
several times.
But I corrected her mistakes gently.
She did her nails
all by herself.
She was so proud.
I let go,
and let her do it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All I want for Chrithmath...

After over a week of harassing her to, "get that snaggletooth out already,"  she finally caved and let Daddy do the dirty work.  And what do you know, the old floss around the tooth trick actually does work.  Her classic comment,  "I think I really look cute with my tooth out.  I hope it doesn't' grow in before my class pictures"  I have to agree with her.  She is adorable right?  And I will admit for a mom who doesn't get too sentimental or emotional at her babies milestones, this one got me.  Looking at her perfect little squared off top tooth nearly (I said nearly) brought me to tears.  Thinking about how it will never be in her little mouth again...thinking about when it first popped though almost 6 years ago (and how I can hardly remember that now)...thinking about how someday I'll look at it and remember how little she really was... it gets me right there. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

leighton lately

My little Leighton is growing up way too fast (although I really love this age!)

has her full set of chompers (number #16 just popped though this week!)
tinkled on the potty twice (and surprised us both!)
eats at the big kids table
insists on using utensils
carries her plate to the kitchen when she's done
speaks in short sentences- "Uh, oh, mommy clean, clean." (looks like she's a type A already)
has gotten quite independent- always saying "Leighton do it"
has to have everything her big sisters have

But don't worry, she...
still needs her bottle and blankie
still lays her head on my shoulder each night
still asks, "Mommy hold you?"
will always be my baby girl

Monday, July 18, 2011

Night and Day

Exhibit A

When I found out I was having a second girl, I expected her to be a clone of my first.  
I expected them to look alike, have the same personalities and temperaments, be the same size, be motivated by the same things, have the same interests... you get the idea.  
They would have to be...both girls, raised by the same parents, living in the same home, wearing the same clothes, being exposed to the same experiences, etc, etc, etc.  
I had no idea however, how different they could and would be.  

Please note Exhibit A above.  
Brooklyn- pink bowl (always pink) all popcorn eaten, saving all M&Ms.  
Ellie- green bowl (never pink) all M&Ms eaten, popcorn untouched (and will remain that way). 
Leighton- still a little too young for us to figure her out...yellow bowl (the only color she knows) eating a perfect mix of popcorn and M&Ms.

Every single day I am reminded of their individuality and uniqueness.  They are night and day.  

Ellie could live on Danimals yogurt drinks, fruit snacks, and mini ritz bits with cheese in the middle.  
Brooklyn would starve to death if that was all she was offered.  

Ellie has 4-5 wardrobe changes a day.  
Brooklyn would wear her clothes all day and sleep in them all night if we let her.  

Ellie always remembers to flush the toilet.  
Brooklyn seldom flushes after her business.  

Ellie has little desire to draw, color, or write.  
Brooklyn could sit and color for hours.  

If Ellie were on So You Think You Can Dance, she would dance lyrical jazz.  
Brooklyn would dance the Viennese Waltz.  

Ellie is a neat eater and rarely uses a napkin.
Brooklyn covers the table, chair, and floor with crumbs and completely uses up her napkin at each meal.

Ellie is a rule breaker.  
Brooklyn is a rule follower.  

Ellie loves to cuddle.
Brooklyn needs her space.

Ellie loves blue.
Brooklyn loves pink. 

So where does this leave me as the mother of these two polar opposites?  It leaves me loving them both equally, and differently.  It leaves me praying a lot for wisdom to know how to handle their unique little hearts and minds.  It leaves me daily relying on their Maker who knows them even better than the mommy who has seem them every day of their life. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

barbosol babes

So... summer morning, shaving cream, wading pool, bathing suits, 4 girlies...sound fun?  I got the genius idea (along with so many others) here.  The girls really had no idea what the stuff was since daddy uses an electric razor, but they knew it looked fun. It was so cute to watch them get deeper and deeper in the foam.   Leighton ended up looking like a baby abominal snowman crossed with Cindy Lou Who. 
If you dare to try on your own please note:  
  1. super slippery
  2. clean up is a kind of a bummer
  3. probably easier to do in the bathtub (but of course not nearly as fun)
  4. shaving cream doesn't dissolve in water very easily (so rinsing isn't the best method)
  5. wiping it with a towel works much better
  6. the less clothing, the better
  7. Barbosol smells like an old man
  8. getting messy is just plain fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kellog's Beach

We headed to one of my favorite little beaches this week.  Its tucked away on the bay in a gorgeous neighborhood and is usually only frequented by moms and their little ones. It is perfect for wading and playing in the sand- what my girlies are really into at this stage.  The sun was shining, the girls were sand castling and splashing, and I was soaking in the sun (with SPF 50 of course).  It was an absolutely gorgeous San Diego summer day.  And I'm so glad the hassle of packing up, driving the distance, dealing with sand everywhere, risking kiddos falling asleep in the car, etc. etc. etc. didn't keep us away today.

P.S. if you live in the area and beg/bribe me, I might tell you where it is...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ice cream in a bag

Nashville highlights


Monday, July 11, 2011

first quilt

If Brooklyn is anything like her Grandma Judy, 
this won't be her last.  
She was beyond proud of herself to have have completed her first, 
very own quilt during our time in Nashville.  
She chose her own fabrics, 
sewed on a real sewing machine, 
designed the layout of her pieces, 
and hand tied the whole thing together. 
And in only a few hours, if you can believe that.  
I'm not surprised, 
considering she had the greatest quilting instructor in the world.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

his handiwork

a summer evening stroll
on a riverside path 
searching out wild blackberries
chasing fireflies
carrying sleeping babies
soaking in the amazing handiwork of our God 

 a tightly clenched ball of tangled buds
with the potential 
to become 
something beautiful
in time.

Be still and know that I am God 
Psalm 46:1
 linkin' up with Katie here

Saturday, July 9, 2011

gone fishin'

I was thinking the girls would have built some endurance since last year, and would fish for longer than five minutes, but apparently getting out-fished by your Tennessee relatives isn't much fun.

Friday, July 8, 2011

kissin' cousins

After spending nearly two weeks with him, Ellie fell in love with her cousin Cade.  They announced to the family that they got married (for fakes) and even kissed (for reals) to seal the deal.  I guess in Tennessee those things are more acceptable. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011


 Happy (belated) July 4th!  We celebrated an all-American Independence Day complete with BBQ hot dogs, watermelon, sweet tea, cornbread salad (those southerners use the term "salad" very loosely I'm finding) and fireworks in the middle of our great country- Nashville, Tennessee.  In addition to the stash we picked up from a local fireworks stand, Brett uncovered a literal arsenal of 20+ year old fireworks/firecrackers tucked away in the basement.  We're not sure who had more fun, the girls or him.